Photo: Roe Ethridge,W Magazine
On April 19, Alexander Wang first showed up in his brand runway show, Alexander Wang’s fall/winter 2022 collection, after breaking an almost two-year hiatus in Chinatown Central Plaza in Los Angeles.
Wang had quietly withdrawn from public life for almost two years since being accused of predatory behaviour and sexual misconduct by multiple men in 2020. At first, he denied the sexual allegations around him in January 2021. Later, he admitted the accusations and issued a statement of regret on Instagram, pledging to do better.
Afterwards, he privately met his accusers and their lawyer, Lisa Bloom. Lisa subsequently shared a statement on her tweet page on March 9, 2021. The victims acknowledged Wang’s apology. They decided to move forward. She added there would be no further comment on the matter, which seems to be the end of the issue with only a public apology posted by Alexander Wang.
Alexander Wang returned to the runway without publicly taking any liabilities for sexual misconduct allegations against him. His comeback was just one and a half years after the sexual accusation emerged. He staged a comeback but refused all the media interviews like Vogue, CNN Styles, and The New York Times.
CNN styles reported that they requested an interview before the event, but it was declined. CNN styles titled his comeback news as ‘controversial return,’ while Vogue described the past as forgotten at the show. The crowd cheered when Wang came out at the end of the show.
NSS magazines described that ‘no industry player has expressed concern or offered criticism of Wang. All reluctant accomplices in the slow but steady cover-up of the affair.’ from the article titled ‘Does Alexander Wang deserve a comeback?’
Despite the controversy, Wang’s fall/winter 2022 collection featured renowned models, including Adriana Lima, Soo Joo Park, Alessandra Ambrósio, and other model stars, while most celebrities didn’t attend the disgraced designer’s show.
The title of his show is “Fortune City,” which celebrates Chinese heritage - Asian American culture in Los Angeles with Asian American food, communities, and music. The performance was visually powerful but deflected from his issues in the past. NSS magazine said that no one found his refusal to address the problem in the slightest bit suspicious.
Despite the private settlement of his issues, the people were apparently disappointed, shocked by his quick return and the fashion industry culture where the sexual predator can be accepted.
Upon the news of his return, backlash immediately circulated across social media. People started discussing his allegation again and whether he deserved to come back. Many posts criticizing his show came out on Instagram, including Diet Prada, calling him a sexual predator, blaming the celebrities and models who attended his performance. One post says, “he returns as if nothing happened before.”
Nonetheless, his brand is still famous among celebrities, as Rihanna showed up with Alexander Wang’s shirt dress, and Julia Fox was spotted wearing his brand outfits. Lucy Liu appeared in his recent campaign, the resort collection. However, none of them showed up in his comeback runway show.
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